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Heart of Indochina: Laos and Cambodia

Group Tour

14 Days From $4,613

Overview

Starting our journey in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, we experience the highlights of Laos, from this ancient royal capital to the stunning natural beauty of the southern “4000 islands” region.

This often overlooked country continues to retain its traditional character and charm, and is one of our favourites in Southeast Asia. Continuing overland to Cambodia, we’ll not only venture out onto the mighty Mekong to spot Irrawaddy Dolphins but we’ll also spend time slowly ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

13 x Breakfasts
10 x Lunches
11 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, boats, domestic flights and bicycles.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in some lovely small boutique hotels as well as some larger and some more basic hotels where choices are more limited. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE/HIGH: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-4hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-5 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 5-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Heart of Indochina: Laos and Cambodia
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: START TOUR LUANG PRABANG

DAY 1: START TOUR LUANG PRABANG

The tour begins this afternoon in the beautiful World Heritage town of Luang Prabang at a traditional-style boutique hotel. After we are all checked in we will go for our first wander around town and just soak it all up. Dinner will be at a local restaurant with great food. We will then wander home past the night market, which is wonderful.

The Sanctuary Hotel or similar
Dinner

DAY 2: IN LUANG PRABANG

DAY 2: IN LUANG PRABANG

This morning we board our private boat for a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, giving us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Our first stop is the village of Ban Muangkeo where we make a short trek to see the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, crammed with thousands of Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Cruising back to Luang Prabang, we’ll also stop at one of the fascinating villages en route.

The Sanctuary Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: IN LUANG PRABANG

DAY 3: IN LUANG PRABANG

Early this morning we will visit the country’s most historic and enchanting temple, Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style. We will then stop at the quaint Royal Palace Museum for an overview of local history and then visit the local Phosi Market, where all the locals shop. Later this morning we will visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where we can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools, or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre that does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. This afternoon we will visit Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre where we’ll learn more about the whole process. Later today we will stop at the fascinating Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, offering an insight into the ethnic cultures of Laos.

The Sanctuary Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG - PAKSE - CHAMPASAK

DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG - PAKSE - CHAMPASAK

This morning there is a pre-breakfast option to witness the early morning sacred ritual of ‘Tak Bat’, or giving alms to the monks. This unique ceremony is still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang (which we will observe from a respectful distance).We will then stop at a local morning market, before taking a short flight to Pakse in Southern Laos where we will continue by road to Champasak, our base for the next two nights. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.

La Folie Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: CHAMPASAK - BOLAVEN PLATEAU - CHAMPASAK

DAY 5: CHAMPASAK - BOLAVEN PLATEAU - CHAMPASAK

This morning we travel east into the Bolaven Plateau, located high above the Mekong Valley. During the day we will make various stops at minority villages and visit a working tea and coffee plantation. We will also visit the dramatic Tad Fan, a spectacular twin-chuted waterfall. We later drive back to Champasak, arriving by early evening.

La Folie Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: CHAMPASAK – 4000 ISLANDS – DON KHONE

DAY 6: CHAMPASAK – 4000 ISLANDS – DON KHONE

Early this morning we will visit Wat Phou, in time to enjoy the sunrise over the ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century. The dramatic location of this temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos. After breakfast and short river crossing, we drive to the boat pier and board our local private boat for a tour of the 4000 Islands area. Reaching the picturesque island of Don Som, we will enjoy a lunch at a local home, before exploring the island by bicycle. Later this afternoon we will catch a boat to Don Khone where we will have a chance to stop at the beautiful Liphi Waterfall, and enjoy sunset over the Old French Railway Bridge.

Sala Don Khone or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: DON KHONE – STUNG TRENG (CAMBODIA) - KRATIE

DAY 7: DON KHONE – STUNG TRENG (CAMBODIA) - KRATIE

This morning we return by boat to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls en route, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. We then transfer to the Lao/Cambodian border and clear immigration formalities on both sides before continuing south to the town of Stung Treng. After our first taste of Cambodian cuisine, we continue our journey south stopping at Kampi along the way, one of the many deep pools where the rare river dolphins gather to feed. We board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance encounter with these gentle creatures. Finally we drive on to Kratie, a charming riverside town, and check into our local hotel.

Mekong Dolphin Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: KRATIE – PHNOM PENH

DAY 8: KRATIE – PHNOM PENH

Early this morning we will enjoy a cycle ride on the Mekong Island of Koh Trong with our specialist local guide. We travel a few kilometres south of town to a local ferry crossing, and then explore this little visited island. Our route takes us through unspoilt villages, stopping along the way to meet locals and be introduced to their livelihoods, these include tobacco-growing, rice production, prahok and noodle-making. We will also stop at some pagodas along the way to find out more about local folklore and the stories associated with the Mekong River region. We then have lunch in a local family home. This afternoon we will drive to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh - a journey which takes around 4 hours. City of coffee, croissants and Machiavellian coalitions, Phnom Penh is made up of crumbling colonial architecture and is a truly fascinating city in a country with a dark past. On arrival, we will check into our hotel for the next 2 nights.

Palace Gate or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: IN PHNOM PENH

DAY 9: IN PHNOM PENH

This morning we explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and a symbol of the nation. The Palace is set in beautiful gardens and we’ll be able to see the Throne Hall, the iron Napoleon III Pavilion, a gift from the French emperor in the 19th century, and the Silver Pagoda, named after the 5000 silver tiles covering the floor, each weighing 1kg. We then continue to the nearby National Museum, home to the world's finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. The building was completed in 1920 and features a lush courtyard garden surrounded by collections from the pre-Angkor, Angkor and post-Angkor periods. We will then have a chance to visit the art-deco Central Market and the Russian market for a spot of souvenir hunting. After lunch we will have the chance to experience more recent Cambodian history, coming face to face with the horrific crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Tuol Sleng was a former high school which was turned into a centre for interrogation, torture and death. Today it is a museum and serves to remind visitors of the terrible atrocities that came to pass in Cambodia. We will then travel out of town to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, where prisoners from Tuol Sleng were taken. An old Chinese cemetery, Choeung Ek was converted to an extermination camp for political prisoners. The remains of 8985 people were exhumed from mass graves and are kept in a memorial stupa here. Despite the horrors of the past, it is a peaceful place to go and a tranquil spot to reflect on the tragic events that engulfed Cambodia and its people. This evening we’ll go to dinner at a traditional Cambodian restaurant.

Palace Gate or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP

DAY 10: PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP

This morning we’ll drive to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap, home to the magnificent temple complexes of Angkor. This afternoon and evening we will visit the beautiful Kompheim village, located just outside Siem Reap. Here we will enjoy a two hour walk through a traditional village with one of the local guides, who will give us an introduction to the daily lives of the villagers. This evening we will eat at a local restaurant, before returning back to our hotel.

Lynnaya Urban River Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: IN SIEM REAP

DAY 11: IN SIEM REAP

Waking up early this morning we head to the magnificent Angkor Wat for sunrise after which we can enjoy a morning tour of the temple before the worst of the crowds arrive. Mid-morning we return to the hotel for breakfast and some free time. In the early afternoon we return to the temple complex, this time visiting Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and home to the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. We also pay a visit to Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei, two of the more unique temples in the complex. We will return to our hotel where you will have the evening free to explore at leisure.

Lynnaya Urban River Resort or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12: IN SIEM REAP

DAY 12: IN SIEM REAP

This morning we head to Banteay Srei, Angkor’s ultimate art gallery. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’, thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man. Later this morning will follow small back roads through rural landscapes and picturesque villages. Our first stop is the temple of Bakong in the Roluos group, the first of the great pyramid mountains which later kings were to copy. From Bakong, we continue into Roluos town to visit a very local market. After some exploration here, we follow the course of the Roluos river to the nearest navigable point where we board small wooden boats for the trip to Kompong Phluk. Cruising down a narrow waterway, we enter this medieval floating village, where the houses stand atop stilts as much as seven metres above the water. Everything lives on the water, pigs, dogs, crocodiles and people, all jockeying for space in this incredible floating town. After exploring the local waterways here, and a beautiful sunset on the lake, we return to Siem Reap by road.

Lynnaya Urban River Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13: IN SIEM REAP

DAY 13: IN SIEM REAP

This morning we will have some free time to explore Siem Reap at leisure. Beyond the typical tourist trail lies a fiery town full of inspiring people, doing unique work with the goal of giving back to Cambodia. This afternoon, our tour of Siem Reap gives us an insider’s look into the network of social enterprises and non-profits in Siem Reap who are slowly but surely bringing new light and new skills into the bustling and ever-expanding tourist town. We'll have the chance to learn, get hands-on and pick up a few take-home gifts along the tour, all whilst knowing in our own way we are giving back to the community as a responsible traveller. After an early dinner, we will be treated to a unique performance by the Cambodian Circus, also known as the hugely talented Phare Ponleu Selpak from our VIP seats. Literally translated as ‘’the brightness of the arts’’, this Artistic and Social Center has been running as a non-profit association since 1994, and was founded by a group of young ex-refugees from Battambang Province. Sitting in the centre of the big top tent, we will witness some remarkable acrobatics and visual arts while supporting one of Cambodia’s most inspiring projects.

Lynnaya Urban River Resort or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14: TOUR ENDS IN SIEM REAP

DAY 14: TOUR ENDS IN SIEM REAP

The tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
TG 911 London Heathrow (LHR) 12:30 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) 05:45
PG 941 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) 09:40 Luang Prabang Apt (LPQ) 11:40
PG 924 Siem Reap (REP) 09:50 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) 10:45
BR 067 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) 13:00 London Heathrow (LHR) 19:45

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require for both Laos and Cambodia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Sihanoukville

Why not extend your trip by adding on a few days’ stay in Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s prime seaside resort located on a peninsular jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand?

Kep

If you prefer somewhere more sleepy and understated then Kep is a seaside resort famed for being the retreat for the French in Colonial times and now famous for its crab market.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Indochina has a climate that ranges from cool and wet in the mountains of the far north – mainly at night and in the early morning until the mist has been burnt off – to hot and humid in the south. Our tours to Indochina travel in the cool season so it’s really nothing too drastic. In northern Laos bring a fleece and waterproof jacket for the evenings. In southern Laos and the whole of Cambodia the daytime temperatures will generally be 30-35C so hats and sunscreen all round!

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. However, please note that on Day 6 & Day 8 of this tour there is cycle rides included on mud tracks around villages and farms, however you can opt out of these activities if you wish.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £500 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 11326 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

TRAVEL GUIDE TO CAMBODIA

With Siem Reap and the famous Angkor temples that were built here between the 9th and 15th centuries, Cambodia has one of the greatest tourist attractions anywhere in the world. Covering some 400sq…

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP